Politics and Gender: Justice Summit 2018-2019

By Lucas Owens ‘19

Patrick Fox ’19 and Evan White ’19 have both been exemplary students here at Bellarmine for all four years. Both participate in Speech and Debate and do a remarkable amount of service work outside of school. Patrick is a part of many clubs, and Evan does a great amount of work in ASB, so it is no question that these two decided to lead a breakout session together, on the topic of Politics and Gender.

Patrick and Evan provided some context on why they chose their summit topic. “We chose this talk because we found that there is a significant subtext to much of what happens in our system of politics and media”. Subtext is indeed something that pervades our current media scene, as it was very much discussed in their session. One example they gave as evidence for this was how Hillary Clinton was told she would not be strong enough and would make too many rash decisions during her 2016 presidential run.

Furthermore, I asked what specifically they planned to talk about during their breakout session. “Our talk is about how gender attitudes pervade our system of politics and how our political system has been divided on gender lines. It’s like dog-whistle politics but even more subconscious, because people vote and live along these lines without even knowing it,” Patrick said. During their session, the duo talked about how if only women voted in the 2016 election, Clinton would have won in a landslide, and if only men voted in the election, Trump would have won by an even larger margin. This illustrates a divide between the genders when it comes to politics as, like mentioned before, a common media theme during the run-up to the election was about how Hillary would not be strong enough as a woman to control the White House.

On why they chose this topic for a school that is made up of an only male student body, most of which is under the legal age of 18 to vote, Patrick had this to say on the importance of discussing this issue. “We chose this topic because we believe that it is important to be conscious of subtle ideas that maneuver our national opinions and decisions. Our personal experience comes more from noticing these themes as neither of us works in those specific settings.”

Justice Summit breakout sessions have come to a close today, and tomorrow there will be a prayer service to conclude the week.